28 Jun. 2010

How to modify normal pants into bell pants

DH loves the bell pants I made for DD so he wouldn’t dress her in the normal pants. To make use of the pants I made I decided to modify them into bell pants. I simply drew lines on the wrong side of the pants to make the middle of the legs skinnier and sewed over the lines.
Now they’re all a little bit more ‘bell-like’.

I was planning to cut the excess fabric but I thought I better try it on DD before I cut anything. If still too 'fat' I can even trim more. If too 'skinny' I can rip the threads and remake it. I'll eventually cut the excess fabrics off once I feel the look and fit is good enough.

Modified (longer) panty liner pattern and night pad pattern

I don’t like the panty liners I made recently because they’re too small, especially at the front which needs the most protection. I decided to modify my panty liner pattern to make the front larger.

What I did was simply tracing the panty liner pattern on a piece of paper, and put a normal pad pattern over it to trace the front onto the pattern so the front of the new pattern is longer, and the total length of the panty liner pattern is the same as the normal pad pattern.

See the photo below. Patterns from left to right: normal pad, panty liner soaker, panty liner body, new panty liner soaker, new panty liner body.

I cut one layer of bamboo velour and one layer of polar fleece or PUL to make the body, and one layer of bamboo fleece to make a soaker. The soaker is a little bit smaller than the body so that there’s less bulk when the body pieces are turned and top stitched.

I sewed the soaker onto the wrong side of the bamboo velour, then sewed the bamboo velour and polar fleece or PUL together right side together, then turned right side out to top stitch.

I like working with polar fleece much more than PUL. I can never get PUL to look nice after sewing. But polar fleece looks so nice and feels so nice.
I’ve tried the new panty liners on and they feel sooo much safer!
When I took out the old patterns I also decided to modify this night pad, although I don’t think I’ll need it in the next 12 months now that I’m 27 weeks pregnant and plan to breastfeed. I did pretty much the same thing, added length at the front and also at the back. I think it’s now about 40 cms long.

14 Jun. 2010

Fourth black pants made!

I guess the bell pants will be the trend so I made a new pattern based on the 4004 pattern. I just copied the pattern onto newspaper and handdrew the curves to make it a little bit 'bell like' and cut out the curves. Voila a bell pants pattern!
I pulled out the stretchy black cord again and cut out the pieces. I also found some colourful scraps to make some decorations.
This is the piece of scraps that I was gonna make into some ruffles.

Ruffles made and pinned onto the front piece to sew before I sewed the pieces together:
I was gonna make the ruffles into a pocket shape but it turned out funny:

Third red pants made!

I'm totally addicted to it.

And I've got so much cord to play with too.

DH said the pants I made recently don't have 'curves'. I asked him exactly what he likes and he showed me one of DD's bell pants. Ok I don't think that's difficult. So I modified the pattern I've been using. BTW this is really a very well used pattern. I bought it from spotlight and have made almost every item in the pattern, hooded vest, pants, jumper, tops etc. It is a basic pattern but I can add my own imagination and design to make it more interesting and make many more varieties.

Here's the final product:

I love how it turned out. It fits DD perfectly, even with thermo underneath:The back has even more decorations:
Because I got distracted when sewing and sewed all the decorations on the back pieces. Lucky I still had plenty of scraps to make more decorations to add onto the front pieces so now she ended up with a pair of pants with decorations everywhere!

The pants are made of a bright red cord and the decorations were cut from some canvas type of fabric from a never finished project. I used bands of that fabric to make the big pieces and cut out the small Tshirt patterned pieces to applique here and there.

I cut out the back and front pieces a few days ago from the 4004 pattern and after DH requested 'curves', I simply drawed some curves on the pieces and cut to make it a 'bell' shape.

9 Jun. 2010

Another pair of pants made!!

I was so encouraged by DD and DH after making the last pair of pants for DD, I'm addicted to it!
I like the oriental kind of look of the flowery patch on the one leg.

If you look closely, you'll see the two pink bows were made differently. I decided to add a bow in the seam so the end bit won't show, when I was sewing the first leg. It was successful. See, there're only two 'loops' shown outside, so I don't need to worry about fraying.
Then when I sewed the second leg, I forgot....After I sewed the side seam, I realized I couldn't sew the bow in the seam any more. Then I just added the bow on the outside of the seam. I don't know what'll happen after wearing and washing. If it frays, I'll find ways to mend....
The fabric is a very fine cord that I brought from my mom's place tens of thousands of kilometres away. It's a big piece of fabric and I love it. I was imagining all types of decorations on it to make it into interesting items. And this is the first one! And I do like it!

8 Jun. 2010

New pants made for DD!

Finally I've made something I like. There's been so many frustrations on sewing recently that I've lost a lot of confidence.

Anyway since winter is officially here (17 degrees for the whole week) I need more warm toddler pants. So I pulled out my cord stash and cut out this pair of pants over the weekend. I had a very busy weekend so I forgot about it. Then last night when I went down stairs I saw this UFO and decided to give it a go.

It turned out quite well. I straight stitched the seams and zigzaged the raw edges to avoid fraying.

I recycled a piece of scrap from the nursing cover to make the pants not so plain. And I got some straps from my colleague who rescued them from filing and decided to make a couple of bows on the pants.

DD loved the pants. She couldn't wait to try them on. It's just the right length but it looks very wide on her. I hope it's warm enough....

I can't remember which pattern I used. I'll have to come back to update on this.

Update 100614: pattern is Get creatibe 4004

Modern panty liners - I don't like it

My pregnancy has made my incontinence worse. Recently my old lovely panty liners are not good enough. I have about 2 dozens of them but they're mainly made by 3-4 layers of flannelette and at most one layer of polar fleece. A sneeze can wet all the layers and a wet panty liner makes me uncomfortable for the rest of the day. (I’m just too lazy to carry around spare ones coz one was almost always good enough before.)

So I decided it’s time to use my ‘modern’ fabrics: PUL and bamboo, to make more absorbent and waterproof panty liners.

I pulled out my PUL, bamboo velour and bamboo fleece, and decided to use two layers of bamboo fleece as inner soaker because of its great absorbency, one layer of bamboo velour as inner layer that touches skin because of it’s lush softness, and one layer of PUL as the outer waterproof layer. I believe three layers of bamboo should be enough for a whole day, and even if there’s a big accident, the PUL should be able to prevent any awkwardness.

I used this pattern, which has always been my favourite. (When I'm checking the tute when writing this blog entry I realized that I did the wrong thing by cutting out the fabric using the pattern and turned and topstitched. It should be like sewing ON the pattern lines not cutting on the pattern lines. No wonder I feel these 'modern' panty liners are slightly smaller!)

So I put them on to the sewing machine and started sewing. Then I got more and more disappointed. I heard that PUL is hard to sew. It’s not really that hard to sew to me but the look after it’s sewn onto the bamboo velour is terrible. Why do I always have these waves? I want it FLAT!
To be honest I like fleece better. I never had this big ‘waving’ problem with polar fleece before. I believe bamboo fleece will be good as well, since when I sew bamboo fleece onto the bamboo velour it didn’t feel so wavy. After I finished my first ‘modern’ panty liner I hated the look. But I believe it should still have the functions that I need: absorbency and waterproof, so I am still glad that I have a ‘modern’ panty liner.

Then I decided to try handsewing the rest 7 panty liners that I cut out . Yesterday I finished two on the train. They still look terrible but well again, all I need is their functions at the moment so I’ll just bear with them.
I’ll have to do some research on how to deal with these ‘wavy’ issues with these terrible knits.

4 Jun. 2010

Nursing pads - unsuccessful

To be honest I don't understand why I keep trying projects that I know I'm gonna fail.

I made some nursing bads before. But I failed. I don't think I even blogged about them because I didn't really want to spend more time on it. When I say I failed I mean I don't want to use them. Not that I was breastfeeding at that time. I was trying to make them as gifts for a friend who just had a baby. But after I finished them I decided even I myself wouldn't want to use them so I can't give them out as gifts.

Anyway the reason I believe I failed was because I believe a nursing pad should be able to form a little cup, not necessary a 'cup' but it need to be able to form a curve to go with the contour of the boob. No one has a flat boob so a nursing pad shouldn't be flat at all. But I couldn't make it properly. I tried to cut a tiny triangle off the circle and sew it up but it was ugly. So I gave up.

Then yesterday after the conversation with Susan, my friend who just had a baby a month ago, I decided she needs nursing pads. Although I mentioned the washable ones I bought from Target were very good (trim, contour, waterproof) I still thought I could give it another go to sew a few for her, since I recently bought my first lot of PUL. I just have to do something to use it.

Ok so I cut out the PUL circles (lucky I was careful and decided to sew only one pair first to try) and decided to cut the other layers into squares so I can cut a neat circle after everything's sewn together. I cut a layer of bamboo fleece and a layer of bamboo velour. It's the first time I use them so I was appreciating the lushness of these fabrics...

Then I pinned the three layers together and sewed around the PUL edge. I was very slow and stop to reposition almost every stitch so I could make a perfect circle. I used a 'topstitching stitch' on my machine which says to sew over thick and stretchy fabrics.

The circle was sewn perfectly. I caught everything I should have. Then I cut out the circle, carefully not to cut any thread. Then I felt although it looked perfectly sewn it didn't have the curve/contour that I needed (I knew there's no way to get the contour part when simply sewing around a circle but I was still dreaming miracles could happen).

Then I decided for the other pad I try cutting all the layers into circles and sewing them together. I was less patient this time and it turned out horrible. I didn't catch everything. It puckled. It even created a curve outwards which was opposite my intentions.

You can easily tell the one on the left is the second one which was made with a lot less patience. (DD insisted I include her house slippers in the photos...)
I was so disappointed. The fabrics were so lush but my product is not practical to use. My friend won't want to look like there're two pancakes on her boobs in public. I guess I'll still give it to her so she can choose to use at home or when sleeping, just to test the absorbency and waterproof part.

BTW I used KCK Nursing Pad Pattern , basically a circle of about 11cm in diametre.

Hey after reading the pattern and looking at the photos, I kind of understand why I can't get the curve inward. The pattern calls for a slightly bigger outer layer, hence a seperate circle pattern for the outer layer only. I guess this is the trick. I may give it a go next time. (Or not?) No I have to give it a go next time...
I just wish that I could make these Homestead Emporium ones. How can she make such perfect stuff? I'm so jealous...

Nursing cover for my friend

Yesterday I called my friend Susan who just had her baby girl a month ago. She said she's been trying to take her newborn out for fresh air but worry about having to breastfeed in public. I said don't worry about that I did it all the time all you need is a muslin hanging over your shoulder to cover anything you think need covered. She said thanks for the idea I thought I had to buy a nursing cover from internet. I said don't spend that money it's too expensive to buy one it's easy to make and I'll make you one.

So last night I couldn't wait to start, and finish, this new project. It WAS easy. I just printed a tutorial http://sewmuchado.blogspot.com/2009/02/description-stylish-and-practical.html from http://sewmuchado.blogspot.com, cut out the fabrics and sewed it up. I don't have any boning or D rings so I just omitted them. Basically I just cut out two pieces of fabrics: 70x100 and 70x10, well I was planning to cut them but I made a mistake and got 70x90 and 70x10x2. Lucky Susan is a petite so I guess a slightly smaller size will do. (What can I do....recently I've started to admit I'm not really a talented/gifted sewer, although I possess the passions...)

Anyway I just sewed one of the 70x10 into a strap of 70x2.5, hemmed the bottom long edge and two short edges of the main body part 70x90, sewed the strip onto the main body when hemming the top long edge. It took me a while to decide which edge should be the top of the fabric because the pattern of the fabric looks really confusing.

Then I tried it on and figured the strap was too long. As I don't have any D rings I have to make sure it's the right length coz it's not adjustable. So I folded the two ends of the straps back about 5cm each and sewed them onto the body on the wrong side. It'll hide when it's in use.

Anyway next time if I make one I'll probably cut 70x100 and 60x10, sew the straps 40cm apart in the middle of the top edge. I think the body of 70cm is too long but I'll ask Susan for her feedback before I change it. (I believe the tutorial has a reason for that size.)

One more thing, about the fabric. I have to mention it because I think it's very pretty. :) I was given this fabric by another friend Lisa. She was going to live overseas permanently and she gave me a few gifts when we last met before last Christmas. I didn't know what it was as it was very properly packed. I thought it was a table cover. When I got home I opened it it was actually a piece of fabric made in Malaysia. It's pretty so I saved it for 'special' projects (I mean projects I don't think I can easily ruin...) It's about 2 metres so I still have a large piece to make some matching stuff. I was thinking a baby pouch when my DD2 is born. We'll see.